Tuesday 10 February 2015

Time To Say Goodbye

You know what it's like to hold onto something that has some kind of perceived value to you. Whether it's a person, a thing, a place, a song, whatever. It may not always be relevant to the stage of life that you're at, but it will always mean something significant to you.

One of the hardest thing I've found to do in life is to let go of something that feels important in order to allow myself to move on to infinitely bigger and better things. Every time I've struggled to do it, it's sucked, but the thing that comes in to replace it is almost always that much better than it.

I've held on to a lot of things over the years, some things I knew I shouldn't have, like false beliefs, negative thoughts, judgments, criticism, but I didn't know how to let them go. When I found people and things that made me feel better about who I really am, it was easy, well easier, to let go of the negative things that didn't serve me anymore.

Other things are nearly impossible to let go of, like memories, whether good, bad or in between. Sometimes you want to forget them, sometimes you want to relive them on repeat as if you can make them as real and tangible as they were when you first created them.

Given my mental state from a young age, I started writing in a diary every night around the time I was diagnosed with severe Scoliosis. I already had so much to deal with in my daily life that it was just something I would do anything not to think about. So I wrote. Nearly every single night (except for the times I was at camp or a sleepover).

I wrote about everything that had happened that day, the things that bugged me, the things that I loved and the things that I didn't know how to make sense of and hoped on some level that one day they would all make sense and I wouldn't have to worry about them anymore.

I grew up in a home that was filled with more pain, heartache and emptiness than I ever thought it would be possible to feel. The thing was, no one ever talked about it. No one ever acknowledged it, so as far as we were all concerned, there was a gigantic elephant of emotions in the house, but ignoring it was the only way to deal with it. So we did.

When I started writing it was because I had too much going on and a very limited number of trustworthy confidants at my disposal. I felt like if I didn't write things down, my head and heart would explode from everything I was thinking and feeling. I'm a very sensitive person you see, and I didn't get out much thanks to my overprotective parents, so between my parents less than healthy influence and my raging thought processes, I was in the greatest place emotionally or mentally for a really long time.

It's been something like 12 years since I first started writing a diary, I still do it til this day and it's become such a part of my daily routine that it feels amiss when I don't write.

With time, insight and excellent psychological help, I've been able to gradually let go of the things that hurt me over the years. The people that inflicted the pain I've either cut out of my life or found a way to move past it and find peace from it.

Letting go of thoughts and beliefs isn't easy when they've been drummed into you from a very young age and you don't know any differently. But it is possible, providing of course that you're actually ready to do so.

My religious beliefs changing was a fair bit of a struggle, but when I saw outside the suffocating bubble that I lived in and realized that everything I'd been told wasn't as it actually was, it made it a little bit easier over time to decide what was right and wrong for me and then let go.

My personal beliefs about myself is still a work in progress, but it's made all the difference having a great support network and finally being able to do the things that I love without being judged or criticized for even wanting to do them.

I think the hardest thing is to let go of people. It's heartbreaking to say goodbye to someone who's made such an impact in your life, even if you know that their time in your life or at least that particular part has come to an end.

One of my biggest problems has been that I hold on too tightly to people who've made some kind of dent in my life. They no longer serve me or the direction my life is heading in, but it's incredibly hard to let go of something that's comforting and familiar.

It's like when you have a breakup and you hold onto hope that one day you'll reconcile with that person and things will go back to how they were. But it's never the same and trying to make it work just makes things worse.

A few years ago I went on a Facebook friend cull as many people do over time. I deleted people that I rarely talked to or that just weren't relevant to my life anymore. It stopped being about quantity and became about quality. If they didn't have my best interests at heart, there was no point keeping them in the loop.

I realized after I'd deleted a couple of people just how significant they were to my life and regretted it immediately. I re-added them and waited several weeks to see if they'd accept me back into their life. I knew it was kinda stupid. There was a reason I'd deleted them in the first place and why they weren't part of my life at present.

I randomly checked on one of them the other day to find that they'd deleted my friend request. It hurt a little, that sting of rejection, but I'm choosing to see it as a good thing instead. It's nothing against me, rather a favor to me, a nudge in the right direction, to move on. If they had accepted me I'd spend way too much time obsessing about them and their life now and reminiscing about the way things had been. Our lives have gone in completely different directions and for the most part I'd say that we're all happy about it. Looking to the past as a distant memory is one thing, but focusing on it and wishing you could go back and do it all again is only a hindrance to the awesomeness of what lies ahead.

While the actual saying goodbye part is hard and takes time to do, I still have the memories of what was and those are some things I'll never have to say goodbye to.

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